Friday, February 18, 2011

Meet Hillary

I'd like you to meet someone pretty special. This is my cousin, Hillary. She's a BEAUTIFUL young college student who has overcome some pretty amazing trials sent her way. Like most typical teenagers, Hillary worried about her studies, sports and her social life. Something distracted her though. Something in addition to normal high school issues. Something got in her way of just being a 'normal' kid. At 14, she was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer. Imagine dealing with this at fourteen years old! All the while going to school and trying to keep up with tests and assignments and basketball and volleyball and friends and just every day teenager stuff. Imagine that. Really imagine how little "normalcy" she had being interrupted by doctor appointments and hospital stays. Chemotherapy and the like. Because that was her life. And despite all of the yuckiness that goes along with this disease, she didn't falter. She didn't stumble. She was so brave and she fought so long and so hard. In my book, she's famous. Google her and you will see. You will see what an extraordinary woman she has become. She can sing, play the guitar, and can speak Chinese. Hello!!!! Do you know anyone like that?!

With God's amazing grace, she won her battle with cancer and because of it has become the strong woman she is today.

I'm so very proud of her. I'm so proud to tell people that I not only know her, but (even better) we are related. Her story is truly one of hope for those who may be experiencing the same or similar circumstances. I'd like to say that she gets her brains from her father's side of the family (obviously, that's how we are related) and that smart kids just seem to run in our blood. But... (there's always a but)... but, unfortunately I think this is not the case with her. Because Hillary is different. She's just so very different. She's not your typical college kid you'd meet on the street. She is a hero of sorts. A role model for me and also for my children. She stands out in a crowd.

After her fight with cancer, she mentioned that one of the things she learned through it all was to "enjoy the time you have here and now because you never know when things will be going wrong. And the other thing is you need to give back in life. Now I want to leave the world a little better than when I came in."  Ummmm.... Hello AGAIN!!!!!......I don't know about you, but there's not many teenagers I know who have the wisdom and insight that this girl has!

What I admire most about her is that she knows what she wants in life and she goes after it, all the while jumping over the hurdles thrown her way. As a child, her dream was to grow up and become a doctor.  Something got in her way BIG TIME. And instead of easily giving up like I probably would have, she weathered the storm. ONE. DAY. AT. A. TIME. And when the storm was all over she was left weak. But weakness was piddly compared to what she had just been through. Did she take time to recoup and gain her strength back? Perhaps. I can only hope so. But when she felt better she stood up and accepted her next challenge.

So the next time I'm feeling sorry for myself or the next time I find myself acting selfish and bitter because something didn't turn out the way I planned it (case in point: my 911 call, or my bidding wars over a house), I will remember her story. I will remind myself that life is not easy. Life is full of struggles and hardships. Sometimes God throws us a curve ball. But that shouldn't stop me (or us) from fighting for our dreams. I want my children to know this too. They read this blog very often. So children- Take Note: Sometimes we fall on our own and other times we're pushed down. But when you are faced with hardship, please remember Hillary. Hillary stood up. Hillary brushed herself off. Hillary accepted the challenge sent her way and even fought through it with a "bring it on" type of attitude. My beautiful children- sometimes we'll win and other times we may lose. But when we win.... remember.... give the glory to God. Thank Him for what He has done in your life and what it has taught you. Take your experience with you and continue on your journey. Fight for your dreams. It will be worth it. And remember those who helped you along the way. Let that touch you and encourage you to pay it forward, give back to others. I pray that you, my children, will never have to experience such an ordeal as hers. But... if you do... remember, I will be there to help you every step of the way and to remind you of Hillary's bravery and determination.

I'm happy to share that Hillary was just accepted into medical school!

Hillary, congratulations. I am sooo very honored to be your cousin. You are an inconceivably amazing woman. And you deserve this more than any other person I know.


  1. What an amzing young woman you are indeed Hilary! I don't blame Christine for shouting your life to everyone! You go girl you are a shining example to us all. May God be right by your side today and always! You are trully amazing and set an example to all of us! Continue on your path and I am sure that you will suceed no matter what you do in life! I am breathless from reading about you! Congratulations Hilary!!!! Love, Lynn

  2. Christine, Amazing Blog on Hillary!! You are quite the writer, your pretty amazing to us, only wish I had a little bit of the energy you have to do these blogs, work and raise 6 kids. I enjoy reading your blogs and only wish I could express everything in the same fashion you do. Uncle John and I are so proud of the incredible mom, wife and woman you have become.

    Aunt Angie